The hosts will be playing for pride while the Islanders still have an outside shot at the playoffs.
Defending champions ATK welcome Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday. The two-time champions have had a season of woes, blighted by injuries, that have almost taken them out of contention for their fourth consecutive playoff berth. They are winless in their last five encounters and will look give in their all in an attempt to gift their fans something to cheer about.
During the pre-match press conference, addressing the media was their interim head-coach Ashley Westwood, who spoke about the motivation for his side. “We have personal pride as professional footballers at the end of the day,” he began. “You want to win games. If you are not firing all cylinders, if you are not playing correctly, you cannot win a football match. To do that you have to give your best and work really hard. And for me, that’s enough motivation.”
He also explained what had gone wrong for ATK since the start of the season. “I think when we picked the players, we picked them on merit,” explained the Englishman. “I was happy with the draft; we had one of the strongest squads, especially as regards to the Indian selection. But for one reason or the other, bad luck maybe, a few got injured and a few took a while to get going.”
Westwood however, added, “But certainly for the four games I have been around, I have found a steady improvement. They have grown stronger and I expect them to put in a strong performance tomorrow.”
Regarding injuries, the 41-year-old had some mixed news. “Robbie (Keane) has kind of joined in the squad this morning and we kind of expect him to be there for the Delhi game. He’s not fit enough for tomorrow. It looks like Tom Thorpe might have picked up an injury today. He may or may not be okay. We need to have a look,” he revealed.